Google Play is the largest app store by number of apps and downloads, accounting for about half of all app downloads in the world. Launched in 2008 as the Android Market, it followed in the footsteps of the Apple App Store, which had launched a few months earlier.
It didn’t take Android long to catch up to Apple in terms of raw numbers, with more apps on the Android Market by 2011. In 2012, Google rebranded most of its Android apps to Google Play, and the Google Play Store which we know today was born.
The next five years saw developers publish more than two million more apps and games on the store, reaching a peak in 2017 with 3.6 million apps available. Starting in 2017, Google started to purge older apps that failed to meet the requirements of its newest operating system update. It also tightened rules for developers looking to get their app on Google Play. This led to over one million apps being removed from the store.
Even though Android at its core is an open-source project, with any developer or manufacturer able to create their own version of it, Google’s proprietary version is the one almost every smartphone uses. As part of the contract manufacturers sign up to when using Google’s own Android fork, the Google Play Store and other Google services must be pre-installed.
Alongside Google not allowing third-party app stores to be installed via the web or added to the Google Play Store, it has effectively shut off all competitor app stores. Samsung, HTC, and other manufacturers launched third-party stores in the 2010s, but without the ability to offer them to Android users outside their own customers, developers paid them little interest.
Similar to Apple, Google has faced complaints from major developers and open-source advocates that this closed-system approach is bad for developers and competition. Several big name developers have complained to legislators in the European Union and United States Congress about the inability to compete with Google on Android.
We have collected data and statistics on the Google Play Store. Read on below to find out more.
Key Google Play statistics
- Consumers spent $42.3 billion on Google Play apps and games in 2022
- Over 110 billion apps and games were downloaded on Google Play last year
- 2.65 billion apps and games are available to download on Google Play
- The top grossing app on Google Play in 2022 was Google One, a cloud storage service
- TikTok was the most downloaded app on Google Play last year, with 460 million downloads
Google Play app and game revenue
Google Play annual revenues declined for the first time in 2022, dropping from $47.9 billion to $42.3 billion. It had increased consumer spending by 213% from 2016 to 2021.
Quarterly Google Play app and game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
Annual Google Play app and game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
Google Play gaming app revenue
Games are the backbone of consumer spending on Google Play, responsible for 73.9% in 2022. Similar to total revenues, it declined quite significantly in 2022, dropping below 2020 levels.
Quarterly Google Play game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
Annual Google Play game revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
Google Play app revenue
Unlike games, consumer spending on apps actually increased in 2022. Since a dip in 2018, consumer spending has increased year-on-year, reaching $11.5 billion in 2022.
Quarterly Google Play app revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
Annual Google Play app revenue 2016 to 2021 ($bn)
Google Play subscription app revenue
Revenue generated from subscriptions reached $3.9 billion on Google Play in 2022. Google takes a 15% to 30% cut of all subscription revenue.
Annual Google Play subscription app revenue 2016 to 2022 ($bn)
Source: Sensor Tower
Google Play app and game downloads
Google Play downloads decreased slightly in 2022, from 111.3 billion to 110.1 billion. Annual downloads saw a massive jump in 2020, increasing by 28.4%.
Quarterly Google Play app and game downloads 2015 to 2022 (bn)
Annual Google Play app and game downloads 2015 to 2022 (bn)
Google Play game downloads
Google Play game downloads increased slightly on the previous year, rising to 47.2 billion. Since 2020, download growth has almost stagnated.
Quarterly Google Play game downloads 2015 to 2022 (bn)
Annual Google Play game downloads 2015 to 2022 (bn)
Google Play app downloads
Google Play app downloads decreased slightly in 2022, however, the total was still higher than 2020 values.
Quarterly Google Play app downloads 2015 to 2022 (bn)
Annual Google Play app downloads 2015 to 2022 (bn)
Google Play app download distribution
A majority of Google Play apps have been downloaded less than 1,000 times, with less than 10 percent downloaded over 100,000 times.
Google Play app distribution by number of downloads 2023 (%)
|Downloads||Percentage of apps|
Number of apps on Google Play Store
Google Play had 2.65 million apps and games on its store in 2022. This value has been on decline for two years.
Google Play Store quarterly apps and games 2009 to 2022 (mm)
Google Play Store annual apps and games 2010 to 2022 (mm)
|Year||Apps and Games (mm)|
Number of publishers on Google Play Store
Over one million developers have published an app on the Google Play Store, although the number of active developers in 2023 is probably quite a bit lower.
Number of publishers on Google Play Store 2017 to 2023 (mm)
Most Popular Categories on Google Play Store
Games are by far the most popular category on the Google Play Store, accounting for 15% of all apps.
Most Popular Categories on Google Play Store 2023
Top Grossing Apps on Google Play Store
Google One, which offers storage services for Google Photos and Drive users, was the top grossing app on Google Play in 2022.
Top Grossing Apps on Google Play Store 2022
|Candy Crush Saga||502|
Most Downloaded Apps on Google Play Store
TikTok was the most downloaded app on Google Play in 2022, with 460 million downloads.
Most Downloaded Apps on Google Play Store 2022